A Taiwanese hiker who became a social media star after posing in bikinis on mountain summits has died after falling into a ravine in Taiwan's Yushan National Park during a solo trek. In an interview last year, Gigi Wu, 36, explained that she started posing in bikinis on the summit of mountains she had climbed after losing a bet, and a significant social media presence soon followed.
According to local media reports, Gigi managed to use her satellite phone on Saturday to tell friends she had fallen some 20 to 30 meters down a ravine and could not move the lower half of her body, and provided coordinates to her location.
Rescue helicopters searched for Gigi several times, but bad weather meant that they failed to reach her. Officials eventually located her body on Monday, and believe Gigi died of exposure.
“The weather conditions in the mountains are not good, we have asked our rescuers to move the body to a more open space and after the weather clears we will make a request for a helicopter to bring the body down,” Lin Cheng-yi of Nantou County Fire and Rescue Services told reporters.
Lin further explained that after attempts by helicopter failed, their top rescue team hiked for 28 hours to try and reach the woman, only sleeping for a few hours because of the plummeting temperatures.
In an interview with local channel FTV last year, Gigi claimed she had scaled more than 100 peaks in four years.
“I put on a bikini in each one of the 100 mountains. I only have around 97 bikinis so I accidentally repeated some,” she said.
When asked why she did it, she replied: “It just looks so beautiful, what’s not to like?”
BBC reports that more than 1,000 people have commented on Gigi's Facebook page with messages of tribute.
One user wrote, "Beautiful and brave little G… thank you for letting everyone see your beautiful scenic photos."
Another added, "Gigi, thank you for filling us all with happiness - I wish you happy travels."
Gigideath follows the similar death of a Instagram travel blogger couple in Yosemite National Park last week. The couple, who were believed to have been intoxicated at the time, plunged 800 feet to their deaths while trying to take a photo. Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, and her husband Vishnu Viswanath, 29, died of "multiple injuries to the head, neck, chest and abdomen," with their tripod found near the ledge where they fell.
"It gets dark extremely fast there, especially with the time change; it is very dangerous to not travel with a headlamp or flashlight at any time," warned Drea Rose Laguillo, a hiker who is believed to have been the last person to see the couple alive. "I personally have been stuck in the dark there about three times unexpectedly, so that is the last place you would want to be as the sun is going down."
In a post from July 2017, the couple celebrated their wedding anniversary by skydiving in Santa Barbara, California. Moorthy posted a video on Instagram that shows her in a t-shirt saying, "Gimme Danger," and giving a thumbs-up sign as she jumped from the plane.
She posted, "I believe I can flyyy. I believe i can touch the skyyy. 'Aaaand touch the sky I did from an effin' 18,000 feet thanks to the unconditional love-ninja in my life, Vishnu, who literally took this year's anniversary surprise a notch 'higher' than last year's hot air ballooning adventure, by gifting this adrenaline junkie with one of the highest tandem skydives in the world!"